As a cyber nerd, my first question when tensions went up in the region was ‘what are the cyber implications?’ The atrocities happening in Europe are shocking for everyone, and this is certain to be in history books in the same way 1939 is.
However, it’s different. I’m not talking about nuclear fears, that’s someone else’s topic. I’m talking about cyberspace. Truth is, we’re already seeing cyber war between Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, and other related nation states. However, let’s frame this down to NATO v. Russia. I don’t think we’ll see an all-out ‘cyber war’ between us, yet. I think the more likely story will be that of cyber “pot-shots.”
By “pot-shots” I mean I think we’ll see random state-sponsored and hactivist attacks against private industry amongst the parties. Certain children will act out and throw tantrums in response to sanctions, and those tantrums will come in the form of incidents. Data exfil, ransomware, wipers, etc. In the short to mid-term outlook, we need to go SHIELDS UP. If you serve customers likely to be targeted (infrastructure, government at any level, energy, financial, medical, etc.), you need to get proactive about their cybersecurity right now.
- Pay attention to the Shields Up program! CISA is providing critical data on attack patterns they’re seeing
- Have proactive discussions with your critical customers likely to be targeted
- Work to put immediate steps in place to bolster those customers, including rapid framework adoption and bring in expertise (SOCaaS etc.)
- Revisit cyber risk policies, there’s very likely an act of war clause that every carrier will look to scapegoat. Customers need to be prepared for potential financial impact from bringing in IR firms and restoration on their own dime with no guarantee of reimbursement